Police Say Woman, 30, Confesses To Being Involved In The 2011 Murder, Robbery Of Zachary Higdon

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Jessica Tene Sterchi
Jessica Tene Sterchi

Police say a 30-year-old woman has confessed to being involved in the Oct. 4, 2011, murder and robbery of Zachary Higdon at his trailer at 900 Airport Road.

Jessica Tene Sterchi is charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

The body of the victim was found by relatives at his unit at the Whispering Pines Trailer Park.

Police said numerous items of value had been removed from the trailer.

Investigator Zach Fuller said on Wednesday he interviewed a witness who said he had information on the Higdon murder. He said Ms. Sterchi told him "she was responsible for the murder of Zachary Higdon."

The witness said Ms. Sterchi explained in detail how the murder and the robbery were carried out. She stated they were going to rob Higdon and she was the one who shot and killed him. He said she told where the murder weapon could be located along with certain items taken from the trailer.

Investigator Fuller said on Saturday Ms. Sterchi agreed to speak with him. She said she was present when Higdon was killed. She said she was with her boyfriend and his brother when they decided to go get some cocaine from Higdon.

She said she entered the trailer first and purchased cocaine from Higdon. She said the two men then entered. She said when they tried to rob Higdon he fought back and was shot and killed.

She said they left, but returned twice to retrieve valuables from the trailer and to clean up the murder scene.

Investigator Fuller said the items Ms. Sterchi described matched those taken from the residence.

She said the gun had been thrown in the river.

Ms. Sterchi admitted pawning items taken from Higdon.



Soddy Daisy Man Facing Child Rape Charge

A 26-year-old Soddy Man is facing child rape charges. Ricky Minor was indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on three counts of rape and two counts of child rape. The indictment said the case involved a girl aged between four and 12 years old.   (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Serial Burglar, Terry Highfield

The Chattanooga Police Department has linked one individual to eight burglaries which occurred beginning on March 5 through last Friday. On Friday ,  CPD officers were in search of a white Ford Ranger and located it at 7707 Lee Highway (Motel Six). The vehicle was registered to Terry Highfield, 59.     Following the discovery of the vehicle CPD Property ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Softball Rally Thumps Baylor, 10-3

The Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans felt right at home Monday afternoon at Baylor. These two softball teams are annually among the best in the state and they've had some memorable games in years past, but Monday's game was all Soddy Daisy. Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning before the Lady Trojans sent 11 hitters to the plate in the third where they scored ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Netters Defeat Bradley County

The defending district champion Soddy Daisy girls (9-0) defeated Bradley County, 9-0, Monday, while the Trojan boys (2-8) were also victorious against Bradley Central., 7-2. Chloe Mitchell claimed an 8-0 win against Haylee Pell in No.1 singles while Jared Elrod of Bradley Central stopped Robert Sneed, 8-2, in the boys' No.1 singles match. The Soddy Daisy ... (click for more)